Last year our school took a few steps to help our students and staff become more mindful about reducing our trash and plastic. First, trash bins were removed from the lunch patio and students were directed to "pack out" the trash they brought in. Not only did this effort create awareness about what items were being thrown away, but sparked conversations about how foods and snacks could be packed differently. For example, instead of a purchased Lunchable children began bringing their homemade "lunchables" in reusable containers with small spaces for crackers, cheese, and nuts. No waste. No plastic. Students switched plastic forks and spoons for resuable utensils. Cotton napkins for paper. And refillable water bottles for their beverages. As you begin shopping for back-to-school supplies this year, choose durable, reusable thermoses, containers, lunch bags, and water bottles to last the year and help reduce our trash and plastic.